Alex Dragulescu has some extremely interesting projects up on his website right now. For the most part, they’re “experiments and explorations of algorithms, computational models, simulations and information visualizations that involve data derived from databases, spam emails, blogs and video game assets.”
However, this one – called Spam Architecture – totally blows me away: “The images from the Spam Architecture series are generated by a computer program that accepts as input, junk email. Various patterns, keywords and rhythms found in the text are translated into three-dimensional modeling gestures.”
Applying this to large-scale architectural design would be endlessly and hypnotically fascinating – not to mention quite profitable if you turned it into a kind of immersive, 3-dimensional version of Tetris. You turn digital photographs of your last birthday party into architectural structures; your Ph.D. thesis, exported as an inhabitable object; every bank statement you’ve ever received, transformed into a small Cubist city.
Your whole DVD collection, informationally re-presented as a series of large angular buildings.
Of course, you could also reverse the process, and input CAD diagrams of a Frank Gehry building – thus generating an inbox-clogging river of spam email. The Great Wall of China, emailed around the world in an afternoon. The collected works of Frank Lloyd Wright.
In any case, Dragulescu currently works at the Experimental Game Lab at UC-San Diego – the same institution at which Sheldon Brown developed his Scalable City project.